As M. Poilâne explained to me, these plain butter cookies had a special name among the grandmothers who made them in Normandy, his birthplace.
There, they were called “punitions”, or punishments, and as Poilâne tells the story, Norman grannies would tuck these sweet cookies behind their backs and,
with a smile and a slight tease in their voices, invite the little ones to come take their punishment. Needless to say, the lucky kids never had to be asked twice.
- Dorie Greenspan. Paris Sweets: Great Desserts from the City’s Best Pastry Shops
When I was younger, I happened to be one of those stereotypical children who picked at their food, never finished their plates, and on hindsight, were highly likely a headache to moms. Being the youngest of six siblings, much of my [younger] life’s decisions arose from watching and studying my surroundings, and as much as that sounds great in theory, it doesn’t necessary yield positive results on all accounts. The good news is I still owe credit to Popeye (the sailor man, not the fastfood joint) for inculcating my love for eat-them-and-you’ll-grow-huge-biceps spinach, and my mom for inculcating the habit of making my bed every morning simply through a Malay folksong (lepas mandi ku tolong ibu // membersihkan tempat tidurku; ‘after my bath I will help my mom // to make and clean my bed). The bad news is till this day I still mirror my elder sister and meticulously pick out the beansprouts from my mee goreng and mee soto (though I have reasons to believe the vege-loving sister has since grown out of it), and I always either scoop out the yolk from my hard-boiled egg or just eat my way around a runny sunny-side up, all thanks to… errr well, that’s just thanks to my own idiosyncrasy I guess.
Considering that four out of five of my recent posts involved cinnamon in one form or another, I’m pretty sure everyone is well aware of my
obsession addiction love for cinnamon, yes? Now before you groan and roll your eyes, don’t worry, this one doesn’t contain even a smidgen of cinnamon;– there are just certain things my cinnamon won’t touch with a ten-foot pole, thank you very much. And yet, this is something very dear to my heart, not unlike my fascination for brownie wrinkles. You see, there are those who spend their lives searching for that perfect chocolate chip cookie that floats their boat, some who just simply can’t get enough of trying out different brownie recipes hoping to find one with the much-yearned-for texture, and then there are quite a few who, much like myself, believe that when it comes to comfort food, one can never have enough recipes in their repertoire, each a deserving winner in its own right. But of course not many people would be in the frame to fathom, let alone appreciate, the need for having four to five different variations of banana bread.